La Mujer Obrera: Afternoon with Cemelli y Ameyalli

mari - Posted on 10 March 2011

Mari & Rachel

Today back in El Paso,  I had lunch with my childhood friend Jackie who works at La Mujer Obrera (which translates The Woman Worker). La Mujer Obrera is a space/center/organization which holds a special place in my heart. It is a place where no matter what I always learn something new from the women who are there.
This time the building was quiet, Cemelli de Aztlan was in an office with her baby girl, so I stopped to say hello.  As  I started talking to Cemelli I learned many things, like how like me she decided to return to her homeland of El Paso to learn the indigenous practice of midwifery!

Cemelli shared her history with the work she is doing and how La Mujer Obrera has changed over its 29 years. Standing in the second poorest district in the country, the Chamizal District the organization started off as part of the labor rights movement with its members working in factories who were displaced after work moved to Mexico after NAFTA.

Cemelli also shared that as a teen in El Paso, there were not a lot of safe spaces for youth and she first came to Mujer as a teenager attending punk shows. Now Cemelli as a mother, organizes events for the Centro, like this years Mexica New Year event which she explains in the video.

It was great reconnecting with Cemelli and meeting Ameyalli (which means 'water that springs from the earth) today on our Indigenous Peoples Highway! A blessing to see how places just as people, grow and transform!




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